When Dr. Reginald Eadie was a high school student he told anyone interested he would one day be president of a medical clinic. Some people just know what they want from an early age. Eadie was one of those people. An MD and MBA later, Eadie is the president of two medical clinics.
“The one common denominator for all physicians is wanting to help others live healthier lives,” says Eadie, a Detroit native who earned his MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine. “As a CEO, you have a more powerful and impacting advantage to do that. Now you’re talking about policy procedure and understanding government rules and regulations. Most physicians are not involved with those things.”
To get to that position, Eadie had to become bilingual. That is, be able to speak ‘clinically’ and ‘business-like.’ When Eadie was hired as the CEO of a leading Detroit facility, DMC Harper-Hutzel Hospital, he knew ‘clinic’ language. But he wanted a business vernacular. So he decided to pursue an executive MBA at Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business. “I chose Michigan State because of the executive focus,” Eadie explains. “I didn’t want an MD-specific program because I didn’t want to think like an MD. I wanted to think like an MBA.”
A GROWING DIVERSITY OF INDUSTRIES
Broad, which runs the oldest EMBA program at a public institution, just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Assistant dean for MBA Programs and EMBA lead Cheri DeClercq says one of the biggest changes for the program over recent years is the diversity of industries represented—healthcare included.
“We were founded to work with the Big Three in the automotive industry of Southeast Michigan,” DeClercq says. “Since, we have expanded the program in diversity. Now we have had more interest from around the region in healthcare, government, and a specific upswing in not-for-profit. We started auto-driven and have diversified.”
DeClercq says there are two trends that have helped diversify industries represented in the program—nonprofits and governments increasingly running like businesses, and private companies dedicating fewer resources to funding their employees’ educations.
“There is a recognition that all forms of organizations have to work with limited resources,” DeClercq explains. “In business, the primary goal is to return value to stakeholders. Nonprofits and governments are finding they have the same goal but the value is not necessarily dollars. The MBA helps them reach goals and grow what they are doing efficiently.”
Lisa Danscok, a vice president at Rock Ventures, agrees that the diversity of industries coupled with the abundant experience of members in her cohort made Broad’s program essential to the advancement of her career. “One of the requirements was having a minimum of 10 years experience plus some management experience,” she says. “People in the program had such diverse experience and that really added to culture. It enabled me to interact with people in other industries who were dealing with the same things.”
Danscok, who came from the world of health insurance and graduated from the program in 1996, recalls working in teams made up of members from IBM, Ford, and General Motors. “They often used experiences from the workplace as examples and I was able to learn about their industries and how they solved problems within those industries and apply them to my own,” she says.
WORK, LIFE, AND SCHOOL BALANCE
In 1995, the increased value students placed on balancing work, life, and school led to a major shift in the program’s scheduling: to every other weekend on Fridays and Saturdays instead of the previous Monday-and-Thursday schedule.
Years later, the shift would make Broad’s program attractive to Eadie, who during the 50th anniversary celebration was named a member of the ‘Alumni of the Decade’.
“MSU was willing to go above and beyond to accommodate the schedule of a busy professional by bringing the program and books to you,” explains Eadie. Since Eadie was also learning a new job, the program was the best fit.